In search of the choc-tastic!
In search of the choc-tastic!Chocolate. Be it milky, dark, white, flavoured, melted or sculpted into myriad forms, it holds a real fascination for kids and adults alike. Maybe it’s just an occasional treat after dinner or a blissful reward following a stressful week – either way is a great way to boost your mood.
Chocolate has been prized as a delicacy, going back into time immemorial. The Mayans and the Aztecs used it in offerings to their gods and as a regular hot beverage. After the Spanish arrived in the Americas, chocolate became popular in the royal courts of Europe and the Industrial Revolution brought about many of its variations, turning it into a serious industry.
Chocolate is such a daily part of our lives; for some, even a passion! If chocolate holds a special place in your heart, would you be influenced for the choice of your holidays by it? If so, maybe consider the following:
Hot chocolate in Turin, Italy
Sipping a cioccolato caldo in Turin, Italy’s chocolate capital is an absolute must - a perfect winter warmer, this drink is thick, hot and generously topped with whipped cream! If you are a coffee lover, then bicerin may be even more your thing, an exclusive Turin speciality, this is a layered hot-chocolate-and-espresso drink served in round glasses! If neither of these tickle your taste buds, you might try a giandujotto, a foil-wrapped chocolate in the shape of an irregular triangular block and a regional favourite!
Top Tip: Visit in February for the chocolate festival, Cioccola-Tò. Choco-Passes can be bought at the tourist office for great discounts on sweet treats around the city.
Chocoholic Buffet in Vancouver, Canada
The Sutton Place Hotel in British Columbia’s provincial capital is a majestic building not unlike a European stately home and hosts an all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet! Their homemade chocolate cakes, pastries, pies and biscuits will blow you away. Even their cocktails are made from chocolate! And the chefs don’t just use any type of chocolate; they pride themselves on using premium quality Schokinag.
Top Tip: There are 2 seatings every Thursday, Friday and Saturday – book early!
Chocolate and churros in Madrid, Spain
A trip to the Spanish capital would not be complete without experiencing their trademark delicacy, the churro! This long, sweet, waffle-like stick of savoury fried dough is dunked into thick, hot chocolate – delicious!
Top Tip: Most chocolaterias will be open all night but for a buzzing atmosphere and truly fabulous experience, visit the famous ‘Chocolatería San Ginés’ in the centre of the city.
Sachertorte in Vienna, Austria
In Vienna, visit Hotel Sacher to enjoy the exquisite experience of an authentic sachertorte! This chocolate sponge cake, thinly coated by hand with apricot jam and then with glossy, dark chocolate icing is a cake to die for! Invented in 1832, it is one of the most famous of Viennese culinary specialties and is reckoned to be a true test of a master baker or patissière.
Top Tip: A piece of sachertorte goes perfectly with a glass of champagne!
Chocolate Boutique Hotel in Bournemouth, England
If you are an absolute chocoholic then you will love a stay at this, the only chocolate-themed hotel in the world! With 13 unique bedrooms to choose from, you can eat, breathe and sleep chocolate. Enjoy having chocolates delivered to your room daily, get involved in chocolate tasting and even in making it! Indulge in this wonderful world, you will not be disappointed - a mouth watering weekend away awaits!
Top Tip: Have a go at chocolate painting and when you’ve had enough, try a ‘choc-tail’ served in the chocolate bar!
If you are lucky enough to visit one of these chocolaty destinations, remember the security a helping hand can bring.
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If you are travelling soon, have a great trip!